Rebel, judge and stalwart
Woman with a moon on her shoulder
Every now and then I find myself returning to (and embracing) my art therapy roots, which is to say that I get stuck into spontaneous image making using whatever media is on hand. It's usually a response to an urge to do something without any planning, conscious thought or (and especially) purpose. Often it occurs while in the midst of doing something very serious, such as drafting a pattern for a garment, and although I know it's not good practice, I can't help but slide the serious work down to the end of the table, grab a piece of paper, ink, brush and off I go, trying not to spatter the ink too far.
Since the images are not planned, they manage to escape the process of judgement that might ordinarily occur should I have decided "today I want to paint ... what shall it be?", which would typically result in nothing because I would have analysed, criticised and finalised the whole process before even beginning.
After a long time spent acting as go between for the rebel and the judge, trying to decide who is right and who needs to go back to their corner, I see I have begun to adopt a new position, that of the stalwart (as in firm and resolute). I am not going to get involved in their arguments, rather give each one space and accept both equally. I find it easy now to give in to the urge to do spontaneous creative things because it actually helps with the more 'serious' side of my work and the same is true the other way around. One needs to be able both to play and work and I would hate to be the one responsible for curtailing either one.
FOOTNOTE ON WOMAN WITH A MOON ON HER SHOULDER
Reference to the inner world, femininity, intuition and growth. The woman, pregnant and contemplative. The moon, poised on her shoulder, a reference to intuitive ways of knowing